Gulf South, Sooner Region Shootout double preview

ASCS Sooner vs. Gulf South Shootout This Weekend! TULSA, Okla. (August 27, 2007) -- The longest-standing American Sprint Car Series Regional showdown will be renewed this weekend as the American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region squares off...

ASCS Sooner vs. Gulf South Shootout This Weekend!

TULSA, Okla. (August 27, 2007) -- The longest-standing American Sprint Car Series Regional showdown will be renewed this weekend as the American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region squares off with the ASCS Gulf South Region for a pair of events in Texas.

On Friday night, the two Regions battle it out atop the cozy confines of Waco's Heart O' Texas Speedway. Then on Saturday night, it's on to the storied Devil's Bowl Speedway half-mile clay oval in Mesquite, TX. Both events offer up $2,000 to win.

It marks the fifth consecutive year that the ASCS Gulf South and Sooner Regions have squared off. The Regions first matched up at Devil's Bowl Speedway in 2003 and have returned each year since.

Last year, the Sooner vs. Gulf South Shootout evolved into a two-night affair with Heart O' Texas Speedway joining the mix on the Friday night before Devil's Bowl Speedway.

Fort Worth's Kevin Ramey, a two-time ASCS Sooner Region champion, owned the initial three versions of the ASCS Sooner vs. Gulf South Region Shootout by racing to victory lane at Devil's Bowls Speedway in 2003, 2004 and 2005.

Last year, Louisiana's Jason Johnson topped the initial Regional showdown event at Heart O' Texas Speedway with Oklahoma City's Larry Neighbors breaking Ramey's string of victories at Devil's Bowl.

While both Regional Tours have been plagued by rain over the first half of the 2007 season, both also feature tight championship points races entering the weekend with Cody Branchcomb of Sapulpa, OK, and Ray Allen Kulhanek of Conroe, TX, leading the way into the weekend.

Sapulpa, Oklahoma's Branchcomb holds a narrow two-point lead over Tulsa's Brian McClelland in the American Bank of Oklahoma ASCS Sooner Region title chase, with Ramey just 19 points off the lead pace in third. Gavin Punch of Collinsville, OK, and Sherman Davis of Sand Springs, OK, round out the current top five, with the balance of the top ten including Kulhanek, Michael Brown (Lawton, OK), Nick Smith (Broken Arrow, OK), J.P. Bailey (Fort Worth, TX) and Derek Cottrell (Fletcher, OK).

Splitting time between the two Regions, past Gulf South champion Kulhanek currently holds a 14 point lead over defending champion Gary Watson of Beaumont, TX, in the ASCS Gulf South battle. Two points behind Watson is Skip Wilson of Mesquite, TX, with Brandon Berryman of Missouri City, TX, and Jimmy Brooks of College Station, TX, also within 40 points of Kulhanek's lead pace. The balance of the current top ten in ASCS Gulf South points includes Greg Rilat (Texas City, TX), Chris Sweeney (Channelview, TX), Tommy Bryant (Montgomery, TX), Kent Lewis, Jr. (Willis, TX) and Johnny Miller (Burleson, TX).

The ASCS Gulf South Region has featured six different winners in as many feature events this year, with Berryman, Miller, Scottie McDonald, Travis Rilat, Jason Johnson and Michael Dupuy each posting wins.

Four different drivers have reached ASCS Sooner Region victory lane in six events, with Ramey and Garry Lee Maier each doubling up with two wins with Brian McClelland and Danny Jennings both posting single victories.

The already stout Sooner vs. Gulf South lineup for the weekend will be bolstered by the likes of O'Reilly ASCoT National shoes Jason Johnson and Travis Rilat among others who will take advantage of an idle weekend for the National series.

Friday's ASCS Sooner vs. Gulf South Shootout at Heart O' Texas Speedway is set to go green at 8:00 p.m., with Saturday's Shootout card at Devil's Bowl Speedway also slated to fire off at 8:00 p.m.

The semi-banked, 1/3-mile Heart O' Texas Speedway is located in Waco, TX, off I-35 Exit 343, then 0.6 miles north on east frontage road. For more information, contact the track at 254-829-2294.

The high-banked, 1/2-mile Devil's Bowl Speedway is located in Mesquite, TX, six miles east of Dallas' Loop I-635 on US 80, then three miles south on Lawson Road. For more information, contact the track at 972-222-2421.

-credit: ascs

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Series Sprint
Drivers Johnny Miller , Larry Neighbors , Cody Branchcomb , Travis Rilat , Nick Smith , Danny Jennings , Kevin Ramey , Jason Johnson